Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Toddler Time

Cosmopolitan Ginger doll

The past couple days saw me working steadily on a lot of small dolls from the 1950s. The lot, very dirty, was clearly a collection of someone's play dolls and they were well played with! A few were beyond repair or missing essential parts, like heads or legs, and I sold those as parts for restoration. I finished the first part of the lot, the Lucy Indian doll and her friend, and wrote about that in my last post. Today I finished a lovely little Ginger doll.

Ginger, by Cosmopolitan, has one of the cutest faces of the 50s eight inch toddler dolls, at least in my opinion. She has very round eyes. Storybook's Muffie has a similar face and there are lots of unnamed clones of these two. I've seen some Pam dolls with a Ginger type face and others with a Ginny face. So, how can you identify them? Ginger dolls are rarely marked, and their clothes have almost always lost their tags, at least when you buy them in the disheveled condition I tend to acquire.

Ginger has round eyes and a dimple above her chin.

Ginger started out as a toddler doll. The early Ginger has very round eyes, which have a tendency to stick open. She is made of very shiny hard plastic. Her arm hooks are C-shaped with a peg  attached, sort of a combination of the Virga and Fortune arm hooks. The insides of Ginger's wrists have a circle mold mark. Ginger has a faint belly button, a dimple under her lower lip, separate detailed fingers, and dimples on her feet above her toes. Later Gingers had vinyl faces and eventually became "Little Miss Ginger" with a teenage figure and high heel feet. By that time her face looks totally different. So the identification points above apply only to the early toddler Ginger dolls.

Ginger's arm hooks and circle mold marks.

This particular Ginger was dirty but otherwise unharmed. Her sapphire blue sleep eyes even work, which is unusual! She has amazingly thick, long, shiny hair. She had black glue residue all over the sides of her face, so I could see her hair had once been glued over the sides of her face. She had a tiny seam split on one shoulder and the side of her face. I repaired these and glued her hair back down over the sides of her face so the facial repair isn't visible and the shoulder is barely seen. Her arms needed re-stringing, so I did that.

The repaired shoulder split

Ginger's hair had been styled in a ponytail long enough for a rubber band to rot into it. I had to pick the old pieces of rubber out with tweezers. I think this was styled by her little long-ago mommy, though, because I think most Gingers came with their hair rolled in a big sausage roll all around their heads. This one had such lovely hair I wanted to show it off. Instead of rolling it up I styled it in thick braids tied with ribbons.

Since the toddler doll lot had a lot of clothing included I searched through it to find a dress. The dresses in the lot had all-over dirt but no stains, which is unusual. I could see they'd been washed, however. The pink dress I chose for Ginger barely fits because it shrunk in the wash. Since it was clear the clothes had previous washing I washed them in cold water and air dried them. I repaired tears to the buttonhole and side seam of the dress. The pink tricot bloomers needed new elastic. I tried to just cinch it up because tricot is so hard to sew, but they kept falling down, so I had to replace the elastic in the waist. Unfortunately this didn't work out well. My sewing machine eats tricot, even when I use a ball point needle, and it gobbled these up several times. The result is not the best waistband ever. Luckily, the skirt hides it.

A while ago I bought a Vogue Ginny suitcase with a robe and nightgown inside, as well as a pair of vintage rayon socks, still pinned together and unused, a bouquet of flowers, and a pair of Betsy McCall shoes. I gave Ginger the unused socks and found some pink shoes for her. I trimmed a straw hat with vintage-look flowers to match her dress.

Ginger is a straight-leg walker doll.

Next in line for repair from my toddler lot are the Alexander-kins. I am not sure how long that will take, however, as I have a big project to finish. One of my best clients ordered a 4 1/2 foot tall mermaid doll and I need to get it finished. I will, of course, keep posting about that doll and my other finished projects. Purchase Ginger in my store and keep watching for her friends: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.

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